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#2479267 - 01/01/12 01:24 PM Best Honda DW-1 Replacement
05Blazer Offline


Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 343
Loc: Illinois
I recently did a trans flush with DW-1 on the Odyssey this summer. I had been doing single drain and fills with the Z1 fluid up until then for every 7500 miles at each oil change, usually 3.5qts. This winter has been pretty mild for Chicago as far as temps go so far but the Odyssey is startin to shift hard. I had intended to continue single drain and fills with DW-1 every 7500 mile oil change. But now I am debating if someone hasnt had better results with a different fluid in these 5speed transmissions. Should I go with Maxlife? I heard that Castrol Import Multi vehicle is good stuff. What do you guys think?
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#2479276 - 01/01/12 01:30 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8593
Loc: Upstate NY
Maxlife works well for us in our Fit's transmission. We have at least 75% Maxlife in there right now, and have been running it with various concentrations of Maxlife for about 25k miles. The shifts are fast and smooth. After it's warmed up some I can't tell it's shifted besides the change in engine note. Even cold it still shifts acceptably.
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#2479326 - 01/01/12 02:26 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
chubbs1 Offline


Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 4574
Loc: Merritt Island FL, USA
Both you have mentioned are a good choice. Flip a coin.
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#2479785 - 01/01/12 10:19 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
Hokiefyd Offline


Registered: 06/24/04
Posts: 11637
Loc: North Carolina
Everytime I try to convince myself to try something other than DW-1, I buy three more quarts of DW-1! It just runs so smooth in my two transmissions. The MDX has make a remarkable change from the old Z-1 that was in it...I've slowly been draining and filling 3 quarts at a time once every few months...I think I've done it 4 times now since we bought it.

My in-laws bought a 2011 CR-V and it shifts smoother than ours does, and I realized that it could be the DW-1 vs. the Z-1. I've done 1 drain/fill of 3 quarts in our CR-V and it's already improved over the Z-1. Maybe it doesn't get cold enough here, but we've had a few cold starts up in Virginia in late 2011 (mid-20s) and it shifted as smooth as it does here.

I'm not yet convinced of the "universality" of the Valvoline or Castrol products to buy them yet. They meet so many different specifications...I can't get comfortable with them.
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2008 Honda CR-V EX-L (Peak 0W-20)
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#2479998 - 01/02/12 08:21 AM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
Boss302fan Offline


Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 1971
Loc: Oconomowoc Wi
The Honda CRV will work great on any of the above mentioned and give you years of use.

NOW when considering what to use on a used MDX/Odyssey, goodluck. Many of these have chewed through new and rebuilt trannys and it really does not matter what ATF that was used or how often the ATF was changed. Believe it or not but it is a poorly designed tranny. People that have not had issues, will...

I would bet that many owners that purchased used MDX's have rebuilt trannys installed. You may not know it but many of these were replaced in as early as 50K miles.
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2006 Lexus LS 430
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#2480059 - 01/02/12 09:47 AM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
sayjac Offline


Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 8365
Loc: The Old North State
Z-1 is done in by Honda, MaxLife will be my next move in vehicles spec'd for such. Reasonably priced, readily available and well thought of here.

Also, read a few less than satisfactory anecdotal reports here with DW-1 drain and fill. May mean nothing, but I'm not paying Honda prices to find out.

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#2480305 - 01/02/12 02:11 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
JTK Online   content


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7388
Loc: Buffalo, NY
This if for a 2003 Honda Odyssey?

+1 to what sayjac says. Maxlife all the way.
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2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#2480383 - 01/02/12 03:28 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: JTK]
VicVinegar Offline


Registered: 12/28/11
Posts: 674
Loc: Northern Virginia
For what it is worth, I was about to move to MaxLife in my old Civic, but the shop I brought my car to for an oil change last week recommended DW-1 right off the bat. They even recommended the proper drain and fill technique as part of the service (Why not though right? I'm paying the labor).

The fact they are a "BG" heavy shop that didn't recommend BG ATF (they push BG everything else) took me by surprise. The service writer said it is a lot better than Z1.


Edited by VicVinegar (01/02/12 03:29 PM)

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#2480649 - 01/02/12 07:26 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: Hokiefyd]
bigdawg74 Offline


Registered: 04/08/10
Posts: 326
Loc: WA state
Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
I'm not yet convinced of the "universality" of the Valvoline or Castrol products to buy them yet. They meet so many different specifications...I can't get comfortable with them.


I agree.

Plus, you have gotten over 100k by doing what you do. Don't fix what aint broke, if you ask me...

2cents
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#2480810 - 01/02/12 09:44 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
SIXSPEED Offline


Registered: 08/12/10
Posts: 468
Loc: Arizona
I recently did a 4x ATF drain/fill on my 2004 Odyssey using DW-1; I also replaced the ATF filter. The shifts have never been smoother.

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#2481085 - 01/03/12 09:13 AM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: SIXSPEED]
Boss302fan Offline


Registered: 11/07/09
Posts: 1971
Loc: Oconomowoc Wi
Originally Posted By: SIXSPEED
I recently did a 4x ATF drain/fill on my 2004 Odyssey using DW-1; I also replaced the ATF filter. The shifts have never been smoother.


Good luck... These always shift smooth until one day you are driving down the freeway and the tranny goes out. Sorry but it happened to me and I did drain and fills very 7500 miles from new with what Honda recommended. After I had to replace the tranny I went with Maxlife... Drove it another 10K miles and traded it.
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2006 Lexus LS 430
1990 Jaguar XJS V12
2011 Hyundai Santa Fe V6
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#2481345 - 01/03/12 01:57 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: Boss302fan]
JTK Online   content


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7388
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Originally Posted By: Boss302fan

Good luck... These always shift smooth until one day you are driving down the freeway and the tranny goes out. Sorry but it happened to me and I did drain and fills very 7500 miles from new with what Honda recommended. After I had to replace the tranny I went with Maxlife... Drove it another 10K miles and traded it.


That seems to be the rate with Odys up to about 2004. Some ran on forever, others went through 2-3 (or more!) transmissions.

I know ours would annoyingly oscillate out/in of TC lockup and in/out of 5th until I started draining/filling it with Maxlife at around 20Kmi. All that stopped. We're at ~47K now on our 2008.

It's still a firm, sometimes harsh shifter though, both on the up and down.

It's funny how startling it is given I may go 2 weeks at a pop with only driving my CVT equipped Subaru. You REALLY notice the 'bang slam' on the Odyssey then.

Joel
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2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#2481489 - 01/03/12 04:25 PM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: Boss302fan]
SIXSPEED Offline


Registered: 08/12/10
Posts: 468
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: Boss302fan
Originally Posted By: SIXSPEED
I recently did a 4x ATF drain/fill on my 2004 Odyssey using DW-1; I also replaced the ATF filter. The shifts have never been smoother.


Good luck... These always shift smooth until one day you are driving down the freeway and the tranny goes out. Sorry but it happened to me and I did drain and fills very 7500 miles from new with what Honda recommended. After I had to replace the tranny I went with Maxlife... Drove it another 10K miles and traded it.

Our 2004 currently has over 150K miles. It does have an OEM tranny cooler and I had the 2nd gear inspection safety recall done on it early on. I have not done much maintenance on the tranny until just recently when I replaced the ATF filter and did a 4x drain & fill with DW-1. I am hoping that with some TLC that it continues to operate well for another 100K miles.

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#2482124 - 01/04/12 08:49 AM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: 05Blazer]
Vikas Offline


Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 8330
Loc: NorthEast
I suspect the life of Odyssey transmission is primarily dependent upon your driving patterns. It will do xx,xxx number of shifts before it blows up. Each and every shift in that vehicle causes miniscule amount of clutch wear by design. Eventually those particles clog up and the wear starts accelerating at a faster rate. There are few things which people have tried e.g. replacing the pressure switches proactively, using racing fluid to firm up the shift (which in turn reduces the slippage but gives an unacceptable hard shift on a family car). Empirical evidence says that attempt helps but the bottom line is that Honda makes lousy automatics and when paired with heavy vehicle and bigger engine leads to its eventual demise.

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#2482202 - 01/04/12 10:08 AM Re: Best Honda DW-1 Replacement [Re: Vikas]
DuckRyder Online   content


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 1519
Loc: Atlanta
I will preface this by saying I'm not at all sure how similar the transmissions are to an Odyssey, but I'll share my experiences with DW-1.

I have 2 Hondas, a 2005 Civic and a 1996 Acura 3.5RL.

The 2005 Civic we bought new, I have always done the maintenance on it. It has needed little, at around 60,000 miles I did a simple drain and refill on it. I got the DW-1 at the dealer when I asked for Z1. This was probably about the time that Z1 was phased out. I had no idea that Honda built bad automatics or that there was any controversy about fluids for them. Since Mobil 1 ATF did not appear to meet the Z1 standard (yes I know it did and Mobil for whatever reason, removed it from the label). I noticed absolutely no change in the transmissions habits on this one.

The RL has been family owned since new, My Grandparents bought it new, my Mother then got it and now I have it. Until I got it this car has been serviced at the selling dealer religiously. (at great expense I might add) I know they use Castrol Oil and BG products, but suspect they used Honda transmission fluid. I will get the service record out and find out when it was serviced, but guarantee it was prior to the availability of DW-1. As you might imagine from its history, I've ridden in and driven this car quite a bit prior to owning it. The fluid was not in bad shape, it was still dark red, but the car had developed a slight shudder that was more pronounced with recent cooler weather. I decided to do a strainer replacement and complete exchange (following the Honda service news procedure that I found on the internet). The results are that the car has never shifted better, the shudder is now gone, even with the recent weather in the 20's and the shifts are smooth while remaining positive.

I will say I am a Mobil guy and the only fluids ever under consideration were Honda and Mobil, but I'm sold on this DW-1 fluid and it was not that expensive at the Dealer (About $7.00QT).

I will probably do the complete exchange on the Civic at the next oil change, I like it that much.



Edited by DuckRyder (01/04/12 10:12 AM)
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